US trade chief warns tech giants could be broken-up - Mobile World Live

US trade chief warns tech giants could be broken-up

14 AUG 2019

Federal Trade Commission chair Joseph Simons cautioned the agency was willing to split large technology companies and unwind previously completed mergers on competition grounds, Bloomberg reported, as the agency continues an investigation into the practices of the sector.

In an interview, Simons said while dividing an already integrated company could prove challenging, it would have to be done if the merger had harmed competition.

The comments come as authorities continue to probe the practices and influence of technology and online giants.

Last month the FTC hit Facebook with a $5 billion fine for data privacy issues, though some of its committee members believed the organisation had been too lenient.

Almost immediately after the settlement, the FTC opened another competition probe into Facebook. Among the issues being investigated is whether the company acquired start-ups to hamper competition, Bloomberg reported.

Along with the Department of Justice, the FTC is also taking a broad look at the activities of large companies in the sector with a view to assessing the level of competition and choice for consumers.

Should the agency decide to unwind previously approved deals, it would require court approvals and likely be the subject of appeals by the relevant companies.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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